Ursa Major Theatre Productions is presenting the premiere of Wake, a play about sickness, madness, death and whatever comes after, at Brown Bag Theatre opening Jan. 15.
John Longenbaugh, local playwright (Cafe Angst and Scotch and Donuts) and theatre critic for The Seattle Weekly, is the director of Wake, which was developed in a playwright's group sponsored by Ursa Major. Asked to classify the play, Longenbaugh thought for a moment before saying, "It could be called a black comedy. The humor is very dark, but it could be classified that way. It's a very odd piece; Certainly the only play I know of, in which a character takes a big swig of Drano."
Wake's dark premise is that a young man, recovering from an illness, finds he's lost the ability to fall asleep. Pills prove useless, and he is finally unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality. When his deceased half-sister shows up, it comes as somewhat of a relief -- except it appears that she's out to kill him.
The play stars Sean Nelson and Heather Benton, and is recommended for mature audiences (though neither booze nor nudity are on tap).
Performances are Jan. 15-Feb. 7 at 8 PM, with Sat. matinees Jan 18. and Feb. 1 at 2 PM. The Brown Bag Theatre is located in the basement of The Newmark Center, 2nd and Pike Streets,in downtown Seattle. For tickets, $8-$10, call (206) 323-7412.
-- By David-Edward HughesSeattle Correspondent